Detection of juvenile sleep deprivation by stochastic optimization of pupillographic records

William O'Neill*, P. Mercer, S. Sheldon, T. Kotsos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To address the challenging problem of measuring juvenile sleep deprivation, we test the hypothesis that a pupillographic method found successful for adult narcoleptics might also discriminate between sleep deprived juveniles acting as their own controls. Methods: A linear, nonstationary model relating pupillary diameter and a random photic stimulus are estimated by recursive regressions from pupillographic records of 8 juveniles of median age 7 years acting as their own rested controls. The estimated pupillary impulse response noise functions are stochastically optimized using the Kullback divergence measure to maximally separate the sleep deprived records from the control records. Results: Both the average and covariance statistics of the estimated pupillary noise functions exhibit statistically significant differences between sleep deprived and rested subjects. The main result is that sleep deprivation decreases pupillary noise variance; a finding consistent with a previous study of adult narcoleptics. Further, it was found that virtually the same stochastic parameters were optimal for the juvenile sleep deprived data and for the previous adult narcoleptic study. Conclusions: Although our results are preliminary, the consistent reduction of pupillary noise appears to justify a comprehensive clinical trial across a broad range of age classes. In addition, the finding that the same parameters stochastically optimze both juvenile and adult recordings suggests the procedure holds promise as a clinical test which could produce sleep deprivation measures simultaneous with data collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalMethods of Information in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Juveniles
  • Pupillography
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stochastic optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of juvenile sleep deprivation by stochastic optimization of pupillographic records'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this